The start was given at 15:00 by Fiat boss Gianni Agnelli.
The Porsches began in front. Jo Siffert took the lead on the fourth lap. Then, a litany of minor electric problems slowed the new Porsche 908s, and some were eventually disqualified as the new team management had not studied the rules about repairs properly. One of Wyer's cars had clutch failure at 17:00, the other had engine failure at 22:00. By midnight, Wyer had only one car still in race, but it was leading.
Henri Pescarolo had a stunning performance in the new Matra 630. The car started the race with mechanical problems, which sent it down to a 14th place. But Pescarolo drove the car to the second place under the rain, despite a windshield wiper failure and his teammate Johnny Servoz-Gavin refusing to drive the car in such conditions. However, during one of the last pitstops the car caught fire, and could not continue.
The victory went to the GT40 driven by Lucien Bianchi and Pedro Rodríguez. Porsche's best finisher was a private 2.2L Porsche 907 in second, followed by a works 908 in third, both just one lap behind the winning GT40. Alfa Romeo's performance was impressive with three cars finishing, the Nanni Galli/Ignazio Giunti T33 in fourth overall and winner of the 2.0L class. The two other followed as fifth and sixth.
Willy Mairesse suffered career-ending injuries in this race when his GT40 crashed on the first lap on the Mulsanne straight, and the accident eventually led to him committing suicide.
Read more about this topic: 1968 24 Hours Of Le Mans
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Famous quotes containing the word race:
“And Zeus will destroy this race of mortal men too, when they, at their birth, have grey hair on their temples.”
—Hesiod (c. 8th century B.C.)
“the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither
yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet
favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.”
—Bible: Hebrew Ecclesiastes (l. IX, 11)